Excited about going to uni? You probably are! But don’t forget the most important bit: the education!
Here are theSprout’s top tips for paying attention, retaining information and getting that First!
Always do the Reading
Nothing is worse than sitting in a lecture or seminar bored out of your mind because you have absolutely no idea what the lecturer is pontificating on! And even worse, you can’t show how bored you are, so as to avoid offending the lecturer by admitting you didn’t do the reading. Look away and hope they don’t ask you a question…
Avoid this nightmare scenario by always pencilling in reading time in your diary or calendar, treating your library sessions like a job. Just think, a bit of drudgery through Socioeconomic Implications of Risk-Oriented Mundane Evaluation III saves you crashing and burning through Introduction to Critical Contemporary Readings tomorrow.
Go analogue, please!
Many lecturers provide a print-out of the presentation- or you can print it out yourself beforehand. Plus, it’s already on the big screen at the front. So why do people bring their laptops to lectures?
Don’t be that guy with your laptop on in front of everyone, flicking between tabs, playing a bit of Curvefever, updating your Tumblr, booking flights for your gap yah. It is so annoying to everyone behind you, trying to watch the lecture but getting distracted by your inane browsing habits.
Plus: if you stick to traditional pen and paper for your note taking, studies have shown that writing rather than typing helps you to retain information. So it’s better for you, and everyone around you.
Watch your diet…
Your traditional low-quality student diet isn’t that great for anything. Your skin, your waistline… or even your brain.
Good news: brain food is pretty cheap. This includes broccoli, dark chocolate and oily fish.
In partnership with a good exercise and sleep regimen, a good diet should do wonders for concentration.
Copy up your notes!
Unless you’re really lucky (or not, depending on your perspective) you won’t have that many “contact hours” each week. (This means lectures, seminars, and the like). You’ll have taken some scrawled notes during them and forgotten all about them afterwards when you’ve headed to the next lecture/ home/work/gym/pub. The best students don’t just toss their notebooks aside. Instead, they throw em into the river- jokes, jokes. No, what you want to do is annotate a proper page of notes (You can do this on a computer, if you want) to cross reference it against the Powerpoint.
This way you can have a really neat set of notes that, when it comes to revising for exams, you’ll be able to come back to and it will make perfect sense.
Compare your notes.
It seems that socialising with your course-mates mightn’t be such a frivolous activity after all. If you compare notes with your pals, it might be worthwhile. You can see what parts of the lecture they found particularly interesting and add it into your notes, and they can do the same with yours. Everyone wins, and it’s a great icebreaker at the pub in the evening. Or maybe that’s just me…